the fiction of it

gunnison day 3 028

The odd cross-hatched clouds marred the otherwise pristine sky, too thin to provide any sort of shelter from the relentless sun.  The light reflected off the snow, burning our exposed flesh despite the chill in the air, and the longer we were exposed the more likely it was that we would go blind.

In the distance we saw the unmistakeable sight of a cabin jutting out of the snow drifts.  Trudging through the deep layers we pushed on cautiously.  There was no telling what kind of reception we would receive.  The lack of smoke rising from the chimney meant the place was probably deserted for the long winter, but it was still early in the day and perhaps the fires just hadn’t been lit yet.

If nothing else, we knew would could force our way in and use the cabin as temporary shelter until we had regained enough strength to carry on.  It wasn’t ideal, and it wasn’t how we wanted to act, but the days of walking and the freezing nights had put a sharp edge on our thoughts.  Survival was all that mattered.  To hell with the rest.

As we drew closer, my vision started shrinking as exhaustion, dehydration and the effects of the sun took their toll on me.  I tried to rub away the pain and damage I had done to my eyes, but my gloved hand and numbed fingers were ineffectual.  I clinched my jaw and nodded to my companions to be on guard, and then I pushed forward the last hundred feet.  Shelter and rest would be ours one way or another.

And when we were done, we would torch it, so that those who followed us wouldn’t be able to use it as we had.

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My second post for this week’s Once More with Feeling picture prompt – which happens to be one of my photos.  This is a bit of flash fiction, but if you want to read the truth of this photo, you can find it here.